A new DNA-based logic circuit can sense the signs of cancer, compute that a cell is cancerous, and then cause it to self-destruct, researchers say. The cell-level diagnostic system could be used for drug screening or perhaps for disease treatment, killing tumors while leaving healthy cells alone.
NC State researchers have created a new kind of soft, flexible memory device that functions like a memristor and has the consistency of Jell-O. In other words, it’s soft, flexible, works well in wet environments, and is pretty much ideally suited for biocompatible electronic devices that work inside of or on biological tissues--and perhaps interface with them.
Wouldn’t it be easier to deal with disease if our bodies just fixed themselves? That’s asking quite a bit from our physiologies, but Israeli researchers are working on tiny nano-computers that could do the job for us. They envision tiny machines made of biomolecules that autonomously troll the body looking for disease, computing a diagnosis and delivering drugs all at the same time.
Those chemical handwarmers you stuff in your gloves during ski season usually solve just one problem: frosty digits. But the sodium acetate used to generate that heat is a far better problem solver than you might think; researchers in Bristol, U.K., have created a "hot ice" computer that utilizes the chemical compound to solve mazes and tackle various other computing problems.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.